Eagle Festival returns to Arlington Feb. 5

Kestrel SkyHawk, of the Sarvey Wildlife Center, shows off her golden eagle at last year
Kestrel SkyHawk, of the Sarvey Wildlife Center, shows off her golden eagle at last year's Arlington Eagle Festival.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

ARLINGTON — The city of Arlington and the Stillaguamish Tribe will present the fourth annual Eagle Festival on Feb. 5 in Arlington.

The Stillaguamish watershed hosts large concentrations of bald eagles during the winter, when they feed on the spawning salmon, the City of Arlington is once again inviting visitors to see the eagles in town and take part in a variety of educational and entertaining events during the day.

From 10 a.m. to noon, eagle expert Libby Mills and volunteers from the Audubon Society will be giving guided tours of the Port Susan Bay Nature Conservancy. Visitors who drive to Port Susan on Norman Road are advised to keep a sharp eye out for eagles flying over the Stillaguamish River or perched in cottonwood trees. At the estuary at Port Susan, bird-watchers will be able to look through binoculars and spotting scopes to get close-up looks at the eagles.

Those interested in even closer encounters with eagles can stop by the Sarvey Wildlife open house from noon to 4 p.m. in the Arlington City Council chambers at 110 E Third St. Sarvey Wildlife staff will be showing off several birds of prey in the midst of nature exhibits displayed by the Snohomish Conservation District, the Stilly-Snohomish Fisheries Enhancement Task Force and more.

Bill Blake, the city's Natural Resource Manager, will lead a short walk along the Stillaguamish River's "Eagle Trail," meeting at the Haller Park parking lot at 1100 West Ave. at 9 a.m., while Al Elliot of Pilchuck Audubon will conduct a bird-watching tour at the Portage Creek Wildlife Sanctuary at 1 p.m.

The Local Scoop Cafe will serve as the site for the second annual "Country Carvers" chainsaw show on Feb. 4-5 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., where 10 artists will be carving eagles and bears from wood that will be available for purchase at a silent auction on Feb. 5 at 3 p.m. Carver Debbie Anderson will present the city with a 10-foot-tall eagle sculpture at 11 a.m. that day.

The Arlington Arts Council will also stage an art show on Feb. 4-5, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 328 N. Olympic Ave. The Arts Council encourages the public to enter the eagle photography contest, for which they'll award cash prizes. The Friends of Arlington Library will likewise sponsor an eagle poetry contest as part of the art show. The Arlington Library will provide children's activities and the Arlington Kiwanis will serve up refreshments for the show.

The art show will additionally include traditional storyteller Pamela Bond, also known as Chelalikum si’sta, to entertain listeners of all ages at 11 a.m. on Feb. 5, as well as local mural artist Harry Engstrom demonstrating how to paint a landscape scene with eagles at noon that day.

The "Ugliest Chicken" contest will accept ugly, cute or unusual chickens in cages or carriers from 10 a.m. to noon for public judging until 3 p.m. at the Co-op Supply in Arlington. Free craft projects, face painting and balloon twisting will be offered next door at 101 S. Olympic Ave.

Arlington's downtown merchants will provide wagon rides around town and many stores will feature "Super Saturday" discounts. Ridgeline Helicopters will also offer rides, taking off from the parking lot by Legion Park at 114 N. Olympic Ave., while Out of the Blue Aviation and the Ultralight Center will display planes for viewing and for kids to sit in near City Hall.

The Stillaguamish Valley Pioneer Hall will be showing off their new watershed carving, modeled after the Stillaguamish Valley, on Feb. 5. You can visit their fish pond and listen to their flute circle at 20722 67th Ave.

For more information, log onto the city of Arlington's website or call 360-403-3448.

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